Following a 16-point loss at Iowa, the 2000-2001 Illinois Fighting Illini men’s basketball team rebounded in grand fashion with a 29-point smackdown of the Michigan Wolverines at the Assembly Hall 10 years ago today.
Victors by an 80-51 score, Illinois was led by jack-of-all-trades senior Sergio McClain, who tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals to record what was then only the second triple double in Illini basketball history.
Former Illini Mark Smith recorded the program’s first triple double back on February 1, 1979, when he scored 18 points, secured 13 boards and dropped 10 assists during a 67-57 victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
In addition to McClain’s stellar play, Illinois got strong contributions from Brian Cook (a game-high 17 points), Cory Bradford (15 points) and Damir Krupalija (10 points in 15 minutes off the bench) as the team improved to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten (which is currently and ironically the same record of the 2010-2011 Illini).
Current Illinois assistant Sean Harrington (2 points, 0-7 from the field) started in place of star guard Frank Williams, who did not play due to an injury.
LaVell Blanchard was the only Michigan player in double figures, scoring 15 points on a Saturday night game that I assuredly watched and forgot about, but now has more relevance given McClain’s historic achievement.
Until next time.
Topics: Assembly Hall, Basketball, Brian Cook, Cory Bradford, Damir Krupalija, Frank Williams, Illini, Illini Basketball, Illinois, Illinois Basketball, Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball, LaVell Blanchard, Michigan Basketball, Michigan Wolverines, Sean Harrington, Sergio McClain, U-of-I Basketball, University Of Illinois, University Of Michigan